Signal Threatens to Leave UK Over New Law, Tutanota Pledges to Stay

Encrypted communications app Signal is mulling an exit from the UK market in response to a new law threatening its core operational model, while E2EE email service provider Tutanota is taking the opposite approach, pledging to stay and help the British protect their communications from government scrutiny.

The law in question is the “Online Safety Bill,” which is a proposed legislation in the UK that threatens to eliminate encrypted communications in the country by adding a backdoor for law enforcement agencies, and a new regulator, the Online Safety Commissioner.

While the UK government maintains that the law’s aggressive provisions are required to protect vulnerable internet users like children, privacy advocates criticize the proposal for the impact it could have on free speech and privacy.

Signal to Exit

Signal’s president Meredith Whittaker stated earlier this week that the proposed bill undermines people’s right to communicate securely and privately, and encryption cannot work only for those who respect the law. “Encryption is either protecting everyone or it is broken for everyone,” commented Whittaker.

Moreover, Signal’s president said that if any backdoor exists on software, it will be targeted by malicious state actors who want to leverage it for their own intelligence collection purposes, so this approach will inevitably weaken secure communication products.

In conclusion, Whittaker said Signal would “absolutely, 100% walk” from the UK if the Online Safety Bill passes, forcing it to weaken the privacy of its users and betray their trust.

Tutanota to Stay

Today, Germany-based secure

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